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This is the forty-first John Lane story
Over dinner with the rest of her family, Quinn said, "And the doctor said Sandi's leg will be in a cast for at least a month. Poor Sandi, crutches don't go with anything."
Daria said, "That's the same thing those land mine victims are always complaining about."
"Come on," John said. "A little paint, maybe some pinstripes, and she can have some cool-looking crutches."
"Voice of experience?" Daria said.
"Yeah, I broke my leg when I was eight." John then said to Quinn, "You know, casts also make a great canvas."
"Only you," Quinn said.
"Hey, never pass up the opportunity for art."
"A new opportunity for art?" Helen said, perking up. "What kind, John?"
"Mo-om!" Quinn said. "We were talking about Sandi."
Jake dramatically dropped the newspaper he was reading. "Dammit! This article says restaurants won't serve meat rare anymore! Some crap about gastroenterological disorders."
"You remember that experiment with steak tartare that you and John tried, don't you?" Daria said.
Jake lowered his hand to his stomach. "Oh, um, yeah."
John said, "Okay, it was a little off, but it wasn't our fault."
Quinn loudly said, "Isn't anybody listening?"
Helen said, "Tell us some more about Stacy."
"Sandi," Helen said, embarrassed. "Go on."
"Like I was saying, crutches don't go with anything."
"Now, Quinn, plenty of people survive being on crutches without permanent damage to their social standing."
Quinn gave her mother an exasperated look. "Mom, we're talking about a whole month."
Helen glanced at Daria and muttered, "That which does not destroy us..."
Sweaty from his afternoon run, John came into the house carrying the mail. He rounded the corner and found Jake in the kitchen, mixing something in a large bowl.
John held up a small package and said, "You got another one of your John Wayne quarters."
"Great!" Jake said, dropping two mixing spoons into the bowl and grabbing the package.
While Jake was opening it, John looked in the bowl. "Um, Jake. Are you trying steak tartare again?"
"Yeah. I got a hankering for it the other night."
"Please tell me you didn't get the beef from Butcher Bob's Bountiful Beef Bonanza."
"They're a client!"
"That's where we got the beef last time."
Jake got the coin out of the box and said, "Rio Bravo! I'll going to put this one up next to Rio Lobo." Looking closer, he added, "Huh? Looks a little like Rio Grande."
John picked up the bowl and said, "So John Wayne had a river fetish. Why don't we just keep the seasonings and stir-fry the meat to be on the safe side."
Distracted by the coin, Jake wandered out of the kitchen. "Sure, John."
John shook his head and pulled a large skillet from the cupboard. "At least he didn't drop it in the food."
"That smells good," Helen said when she arrived.
"Just a quick stir-fry," John said. "The mail's on the counter."
Helen picked it up and started to sift through it. "Oh, that's interesting."
"Something for Daria and Quinn."
From the sofa, Daria said, "What's that, Mom?"
"You have a letter from Camp Grizzly."
"Tell them I'm a little too old to attend."
Helen walked over and gave the letter to Daria. "I'm curious."
Daria sighed and opened it. "Wonderful. They're having a five-year reunion next weekend."
"Kind of short notice for a trip to Texas, don't you think?" John said.
"Oh, Camp Grizzly is only a couple hours away in Virginia," Helen said.
"Let me get this straight. You sent Daria and Quinn to summer camp halfway across the country? Now, that's what I call getting away from the kids for a couple weeks."
Helen said, "Jake and I used the chance to visit my mother while the girls were at camp."
"From the looks on their faces when Mom and Dad picked us up, they had about as much fun as I did," Daria said.
"Daria," Helen warned.
Quinn came in and said, "Did I hear something about Camp Grizzly?"
Helen handed over the letter. "Here's your invitation."
After reading, Quinn said, "I can't wait to go, see my old friends and remember what it was like to be just girls together. Things were so innocent and simple way back then."
Daria said, "All the more reason not to go."
Helen said, "In that case, your father and I can use your help cleaning out the garage."
"I get the hint," Daria said. "What about John?"
"Yeah, what about me?"
"I'm sure that the camp wouldn't mind if you tagged along," Helen said.
John took dinner off the stovetop and said, "What can it hurt? Besides, I never went to summer camp."
Helen answered the door and said, "Oh, hello, Trent," when she saw him there.
"Hey, Mrs. M.," he said. "John around?"
"He's upstairs; come in."
After Helen closed the door, Trent said, "I hope I'm not disturbing anything."
"Nothing more than the usual household drama."
Leading the way up the stairs, she said, "Quinn's worried about her friend Sandi, who broke her leg and is too embarrassed to go to school. I can't believe that Linda is letting her get away with that."
"She and Daria are going to a five-year reunion of their old summer camp next weekend, which, of course, Daria does not want to attend."
"So as a concession, John's going along so that she doesn't spend the entire weekend with her head stuck in a book ignoring everyone."
"But I'm a little concerned about sending three teenagers on a road trip by themselves. An adult presence might be a good idea."
"Not that I don't trust John and Daria, it's that there are so many people out there that would take advantage of a group of kids that wouldn't consider trying something if an adult was along."
"So would it be possible for you to go along with them?"
"Uh, yeah, I guess."
"Excellent. Thank you, Trent," Helen said as they reached John's room.
Hearing them, John looked over from his easel and said, "What did you just get talked into?"
Helen said, "He's going along with you, Daria and Quinn to Camp Grizzly. Not that you need supervision or anything, but just in case anything happens."
John suppressed a laugh at the idea of Trent providing any kind of effective supervision. "Sounds good. So, Trent, what brings you over here, anyway?"
"Oh, uh, I was going to ask if I could crash here over the weekend. You know, get away from it all."
"Don't you have a gig this weekend?"
"Mystik Spiral's taking a break."
"In other words, the band had another round of 'creative differences' and all of you need to cool your heels for a few days."
Trent scratched the back of his neck. "Yeah, something like that."
Quinn sat on the floor in her room along with Tiffany and Stacy. On the speakerphone, Sandi said, "We must maintain the Fashion Club standards, even when one of us is temporarily disfigured."
Quinn said, "Sandi, you're not really disfigured. You just need a little help getting around."
"I'll be the judge of how badly these crutches clash with my entire wardrobe, thank you very much."
"I mean..." Quinn started to say before giving up. "Oh, nothing."
"Good. Now, what are everyone's plans for this weekend? You need to put up a good appearance to make up for my absence. Stacy?"
"I have a date with Ronald."
"I'm going out with Josh," Tiffany slowly drawled.
"Um, I'm going to that camp reunion I told you about."
"If you must," Sandi said. "You have to set your priorities."
Sitting in the front seat of the old blue bomber while Trent drove, Quinn said, "Why did you have to bring this dog?"
The animal in question was a black bull terrier/cocker spaniel mix that was occupying the floorboard in front of Quinn and panting.
"He gets real grumpy if you leave him alone all weekend," Trent said.
Daria said, "Wouldn't Axl stop by and say, 'hi,' to Damien? After all, it's supposed to be his guard dog."
"Axl went to TattooCon. Be back on Tuesday."
"So we're stuck with the dog," John said.
Daria said, "Trent, is he housebroken yet?"
Quinn looked down at the floor and said, "Ewww."
When John pulled the car into the unpaved parking lot of a small country store, Quinn said, "Why are we stopping now? Camp Grizzly's right down the road."
"I wanna grab a bite to eat," John said. "The camp's feeding you two, but I'm not betting on them wanting to feed me and Trent."
Daria faintly smiled at the building and said, "I don't mind stopping."
"Whatever. Just hurry back, okay? He snores," Quinn said, pointing to Trent asleep on the other side of the back seat.
John said, "I figured you'd like the chance to get out and stretch so that you won't be so stiff when we get to Camp Grizzly. Not even you can make stiff walking look fashionable."
Quinn grumbled, "Okay, okay. You win."
Trent muttered, "She said it was a sousaphone."
Seeing the confused look on Quinn's face, John said, "Don't ask. Don't wonder. Don't remember."
They left Trent in the car and proceeded inside. Daria looked around at the rustic wooden shelves and said, "It hasn't changed."
"What do you mean?" Quinn said. "We were never here."
"You were never here," Daria said.
A friendly-looking man entered through a Dutch door, stood behind the counter and said, "Good morning. What can I do for you today?"
"Looking for something to munch on," John said, going to a shelf of chips and assorted other snack food.
"Hello, Earl," Daria said to him.
He tilted his head and said, "You look familiar."
Daria held out her hand. "I was about this high five years ago."
"Now I remember. You got lost hiking from Camp Grizzly. You must be here for the reunion."
Daria nodded. "Not something I'm particularly looking forward to, but it's better than the alternative."
A matronly woman entered through a door behind the counter and said, "Hello."
Earl said, "Barbara, do you remember Daria? She was at Camp Grizzly five years ago."
"Oh yes, you were such a sweet little girl."
Daria's rapid glance made John hide the smirk forming on his face. Instead, he focused on a rack of individually wrapped cookies. "How much are these?"
"We usually charge the tourists passing through two dollars, but you can have them for a dollar each," Earl said.
A bit pricey, but hey, it's food.. John grabbed two and added them to his stack before placing it on the counter. I bet that they sell the tourists a bunch of 'country wisdom' to go along with the cookies.
Daria said, "I had to wonder what it would take for them to notice that I was missing, me being trapped in a hidden cave by an earthquake?"
Earl chuckled and said, "Do you still write your stories?"
"Yes, and John's even done some illustrations for them."
"How nice. I think you've got a keeper there," Barbara said.
"So far," Daria said.
Still collecting food, John said, "I'm right over here, you know."
"Don't worry, she hasn't forgotten about you. She's showing you off," Quinn said with a wink.
Barbara laughed at that and said, "I can tell that she's your sister."
"We've, um, grown a bit since the last time I was here," Daria said.
John added his remaining items to the stack on the counter and said, "There, I'm ready."
Earl started to ring up the purchases on an old mechanical cash register. "You've got a pretty good appetite there. Must still be growing."
"I also need to feed my brother. He's in the car, seeking inspiration."
Earl leaned over a bit to peer out of the window. "It looks like he's asleep."
"Like I said."
After Earl completed the transaction and Barbara had put everything in a second-hand paper bag, he said, "Have a good day. It's been nice meeting you again, Daria."
"Please come back and see us again when you can," Barbara said.
"It's been nice seeing you," Daria said. "I don't know when, but I hope I can make it back."
When John tossed a bag of food onto his lap, Trent grunted and sleepily said, "Wha?"
John said, "Food. Sustenance. Munchies."
"Cool," Trent said, opening the bag and looking in. "Man, I love cookies."
"Simple pleasures for a simple man," Daria said as she got behind the steering wheel.
"Simple pleasures," Trent said before biting into a cookie. "Hmm, that's a gift of food. Hey, 'simple gifts.' Sounds like a song."
"It's been done," Daria said as she started the car.
"Are you sure?"
Damien barked and sniffed at Trent's bag. John opened another small paper bag and tossed the dog some beef jerky. "I wouldn't leave you out, little guy."
Damien snapped the dried meat out of the air and enthusiastically chewed on it like a toy.
When everyone had settled in and Daria pulled away from the store, Quinn said, "So, Daria. How much are you going to show off John at camp?"
"I'm not showing him off," Daria said. "He's along for amoral support."
Trent lightly laughed.
"Hey, I'm a musician. I can tell when people are into each other."
Quinn snorted and said, "Anybody can tell that they're into each other."
Damien poked his head up and barked.
"See?" Trent said and closed his eyes again.
"He wants more jerky," John said, tossing another piece to the back seat.
Quinn alternately looked between the dog and Trent before shaking her head.
John said, "Don't try to understand my brother's reasoning. It'll only lead to madness."
When Daria pulled into a parking space and stopped the car, she looked around and said, "It looks like even the mold hasn't changed."
John looked over the seat back and said, "Quinn, you survived this place?"
"It was a challenge, but with good friends, we rose to the occasion. Speaking of them, there they are. Excuse me."
Quinn hurried out of the car and went over to where three girls were standing, looking the other direction. "Tracy, Cindy, Tatiana! It's so good to see you!"
The three girls turned and each exclaimed, "Quinn!" before joining in a group hug and then going off toward the camp center.
Watching them leave, John said, "They always travel in packs of four, don't they?"
Daria said, "Yep."
John and Daria got out of the car and she said, "What about Trent?"
"I figure we can leave him there."
"We can't do that. It wouldn't be fair to the dog."
"Yeah, cars get hot and stuff. We'd better wake him back up."
Daria said, "We can put Trent under a nice shade tree and tie the leash to his wrist."
"Works for me."
While they were doing that, a freckled girl with square glasses approached and said, "Daria? Is that you?"
Daria turned and unenthusiastically said, "Hi, Amelia."
Amelia said, "Thank God! I was afraid you weren't coming, and then there would be no reason for me to come, because I wouldn't have anyone to talk to. What's new?"
"Well," Daria said. "We moved out of Highland and, um, I have a boyfriend. That's him around the other side of the car. John, say hello."
John looked over the car roof and waved, saying, "Hi," before going back to pulling Trent out of the back seat.
"Um, hi," Amelia said, and then whispered to Daria, "Does he have a brother?"
"Hey, I'm coming," Trent said as he emerged. "Whoa, this is like, out in the woods."
Daria said, "That would be a yes. His name's Trent."
Amelia's eyes brightened. "Hi, Trent. I'm Amelia."
"Um, hey," Trent said.
John said, "First Earl and Barbara at the store and now Amelia. Sounds like you had a nice little fan club here."
Before Daria replied, a young man in his twenties bounced up and started to hand out t-shirts from a stack held under one arm. "Hey, Grizzlies! Skip Stevens, Alumni Coordinator. Grab a Grizzly t-shirt."
Daria held one with her fingertips, thinking that now she understood Quinn's reaction to polyester leg warmers.
John took one and shrugged.
Trent sniffed it and said, "Cool, it's clean."
Amelia absently took one and held it loosely in her hand.
John picked up Damien's leash and said, "Come on, Trent. Let's find a nice spot for you to get inspired."
"You always know how I think, Johnny," Trent said as he followed John toward the deep shade of a canopied oak tree.
Daria waved her hand in front of Amelia. "Hey, are you there?"
Taking her attention away from Trent, she said, "Oh, yeah, Daria."
Daria glanced over at the brothers and said, "Oh, boy."
The campers slowly gathered around the dining hall porch, where a balding, middle-aged man stood with Skip.
The man said into a microphone, "Before we begin our hike..." Not certain, he looked at Skip. "Is this thing on? Hello?"
Skip cheerfully said, "It's on, Mr. Potts!"
"Thank you, Skip."
"No, thank you, Mr. Potts!"
Mr. Potts sighed and said with little enthusiasm, "We're real glad to see all these former Grizzlies at the reunion. And, when the time comes that you have cubs of your own, we hope they'll be proud to say, 'I'm a Grizzly, grr.'" He faintly laughed and asked, "Everyone ready for a hike?"
Less than excited muttering came from the gathered crowd.
Skip shouted, "He said, 'Is everyone ready for a hike?'"
The muttering was a little louder, but with no more excitement.
John said, "Was everyone this enthusiastic five years ago?"
"Some things never change," Daria said.
Amelia said, "John, do you think your brother will want to go on a hike?"
John looked over at Trent, still snoozing under the tree. "If Trent ever goes on a hike, put your hands on your knees and kiss your ass goodbye because the world's about to end."
Daria wandered over to a table near Trent and took a seat. "I'll hold down the fort until they return."
Amelia joined her and said, "You were always so funny."
John sat down next to Daria and said, "I think she is."
"I'm not doing standup," Daria warned.
"I'm waiting for him to stand up," Amelia said, nodding toward Trent.
Laughing, Amelia said, "And everyone was so scared, you couldn't hear a sound when she finished. Daria was such a good storyteller."
"So good that everyone in the cabin made me sleep on the porch that night because they were afraid," Daria said. "I was covered with mosquito bites the next morning."
"Oh, I forgot about that," Amelia said.
John said, "Daria, I can see why you thought this place sucked. Mosquito bites, stitches, lost glasses, greasy watermelons...I'd have been almost tempted to stay home and help clean out the garage."
"I was, but the risk of Mom and Dad getting distracted while cleaning the garage was too great," Daria said. "Therefore, I chose the lesser evil."
Seemingly oblivious to what had just been said, Amelia changed the subject. "So, what's the story, Daria? How'd you get a cute guy like this?"
Daria lightly smiled and said, "It's a little long."
"I'm right here," John said.
"That's okay," Amelia said. "Then you can tell me about Trent."
John looked over to watch Damien insistently nudging Trent. When Trent finally snorted and shifted a bit, the dog relaxed and settled back down. John said, "We have the dog along to help keep an eye on Trent."
In the distance, they could hear Skip say, "We're almost back, Grizzlies! Wasn't that fun?" After silence, he repeated, "Wasn't that fun?" Maybe a slight murmur could be heard after that, and then he said, "Take a break and get ready for a lunch of the best Grizzly Burgers you've ever had."
"Grizzly burgers," Daria said. "More like road kill."
Cooking over a large grill, Skip said, "Get your Grizzly Burgers. Rare, medium, but always well-done."
Carrying plates with hamburger buns already on them, John, Daria and Amelia walked over. Daria speared a burger with her fork and placed it on her plate.
Skip said, "Hey! What are you doing?"
Daria replied, "Taking down the weakest burger in the herd, thus following the laws of natural selection."
"No one takes a burger until I say so." With exaggerated self-importance, Skip said, "I've got a whole system here. It's all timed to perfection."
"I didn't realize that cooking burgers was as complicated as astrophysics."
Skip used his spatula to take the burger from Daria.
When he tried to put it back on the grill, John nabbed it with his fork and returned it to Daria's plate. "You said, 'so,' when you called us over here." Without waiting, he used the fork to get burgers for himself, Amelia and Trent.
Skip said, "You can't do that!"
"Yes, I can."
John, Daria and Amelia walked away while Skip sputtered in frustration and the other campers snickered at him.
Amelia said, "Aren't you afraid to get in trouble?"
"What's he going to do? Throw me out of camp?"
"Um...you know, you didn't go to this camp."
"But I never pass up free food."
Daria said, "Thanks for saving my burger."
"I was a little surprised I had to," John said. "Usually, you're not that quiet about things. Come to think of it, you've been fairly quiet around this Skip guy since we got here. You gripe about him, but haven't really stood up to him."
Daria sat down at their table and quietly said, "It's hard for a seventy-five pound, twelve-year old girl to directly stand up to someone like Skip."
"But you always had something funny to say about him," Amelia said.
"And I paid for it each time he heard me."
Amelia looked down at her plate and said, "You really didn't have a good time here at all, did you?"
"Oh." Amelia stood and picked up the extra plate. "I'm going to take this over to Trent."
"Amelia," Daria said, raising her hand.
John gently lowered it and said, "She had to learn sometime."
Damien had wrapped his long leash around Trent and the tree and was sniffing the air when Amelia approached. She squatted while holding the burger high in the air away from the dog and said, "Trent, it's lunch time."
Trent rolled against the leash and then barely opened his eyes to look at what was holding him down. "Kinky. Cool."
"What?" Amelia said.
"Gonna wear the purple leather thing, too?"
Amelia dropped the plate in shock and backed away from Trent. Damien wasted no time in eating the burger and then lapping the remains off of Trent's shirt.
Trent, his eyes closed again, said, "Cool."
Seeing Amelia's escape, John said, "It looks like another embarrassing Trent non sequitur."
While Skip prattled about his camp memories from a cabin porch, Daria ignored her lunch and watched Amelia, who was leaning against a tree, gazing at the nearby lake. Daria said, "I screwed up, didn't I?"
Trying to be tactful, John said, "I think Amelia has a lot of baggage."
"Don't we all?"
Dejected, Quinn dropped down onto the bench next to Daria and said, "So much for girlish bonding with old friends."
"You, too?" Daria said.
"I thought things would go differently."
John asked, "Did your friends change that much on you?"
"No, they didn't change at all."
John scratched the back of his head like his brother and said, "Huh?"
"I guess I've changed more than I thought. Kind of like you, Daria."
Daria stood and said, "Yeah, I have. Excuse me."
Quinn asked John, "Where's she going?" as Daria walked away.
"I think she's dealing with her girlish bonding."
Quinn followed John's direction and said, "Oh, Amelia."
"You remember her?"
"Yeah." Lowering her voice, Quinn said, "Everyone called her, 'The other weird kid.' Skip was almost as hard on her as he was on Daria and said that they didn't have enough camp spirit."
"Yelling, looking the other way when campers did things to them, not inviting Daria to the End-of-Summer campfire, giving Daria the skittish horse, stuff like that."
"What a jerk."
Daria went to the other side of the tree from Amelia, leaned against it and said, "When it comes to interpersonal relations, I can be a little dense."
"A little," Amelia said.
"Being around me was the only thing you found good about camp, right?"
Amelia weakly nodded in reply.
"You were the only person in camp that was nice to me and I was so determined to be miserable that I missed it. I'm sorry."
"I read too much into what you did," Amelia said. "I'm sorry that I forgot about the stitches when you were thrown off of that horse."
"Hey!" Skip called. "The fun's over here!" After Daria and Amelia ignored him, he said, "Oh yeah, you two are the weird kids who don't want to have fun!"
Quinn stood up and screamed, "Shut up, you jerk!"
Stunned, Skip said, "What?"
Quinn charged over to the porch and took the microphone from Skip. "I said, 'Shut up, you jerk!'"
Scattered applause rose from the campers. Daria turned and said, "Oh, boy."
"What's she doing?" Amelia asked.
"Acting like my sister."
Quinn said, "You teased them the whole time we were here."
Skip straightened up and said, "Camp builds character and..."
"Camp was just like middle school, only with you instead of teachers," Quinn said. "You know, just like the teachers, I don't think anyone liked you, either."
The campers loudly yelled and clapped in agreement.
"Just leave them alone and just leave all of us alone! We don't want to hear any more of your Grizzly stories, or wear your stupid shirt or even look at you."
Skip said, "Mr. Potts, make her stop!"
Mr. Potts shook his head and sadly said, "Skip, lighten up and stop making this your life. This is a summer camp. Parents send their kids here for a couple weeks so that they can get laid without interruption."
Amelia said, "Wow, she really likes you."
"Though she'll make me swear not to repeat a word of this to her friends," Daria said. "I have an idea."
Daria held out her hand and said, "Hi, I'm Daria."
Amelia shook it and said, "Hi, I'm Amelia."
A girl walked past where Daria, John and Amelia were standing and said, "Wow, I never knew your sister was so dedicated."
"Leave it to Quinn to make herself the most popular," John said.
Daria said, "You have to admire her skill, even if you find it disturbing."
Noting Tracy, Cindy, and Tatiana stalking around the edge of the campers, John said, "She's not popular with everyone."
Pulled by Damien on his leash, Trent walked toward them, humming a tune.
Amelia carefully said, "Hi."
Trent sang, "The ties that bind aren't the ones you find. Yeah."
Amelia blushed and said, "Um, interesting song."
"Made it up while I was sleeping."
"You make up all your songs while sleeping," John said.
"It's when I do my best work." Trent sniffed and said, "Man, I smell burgers."
"Sorry, too late," Daria said. "They're all gone."
"Bummer, I was going to get one for Damien, too."
Quinn separated from a group of campers and came over. "I think I've had enough fun for one day. Are we ready to go?"
Daria said, "Do you mind if we stay a little while longer? I want to spend more time catching up on things with Amelia. It's something friends do."
When he opened the front door and stepped inside the Morgendorffer home, John said, "Hey, we're home."
Helen and Jake were cuddled together on the sofa and she said, "Hi, kids. How was your trip?"
Daria whispered, "They've been at it again and who knows where." Out loud, she said, "Hi, Mom, Dad. We're kind of beat and will be down later after we rest." Whispering again, she said, "Let's get out of here and remember, don't touch anything. We don't know where they've been."
Quinn said, "You know, I thought of something that I really need to do. I'll be back later."
"Sure thing, Quinn," Jake said in a cheerful voice.
John said, "Later, Quinn."
Upstairs, John said, "Well, what's the verdict? As bad as you thought?"
"No," Daria said. "I managed to rediscover some good friends."
Sandi Griffin lay on her bed, reading a fashion magazine and nibbling on a piece of chocolate. Hearing who she thought was one of her brothers at the bedroom door, Sandi said, "Go away, you brat."
Quinn opened the door and said, "Usually it's my sister that calls me that."
"Quinn!" Sandi said, trying to hide her cast under a blanket, as well as the box of chocolate. "What are you doing here?"
"I'm going to help you figure out a way to make a cast fashionable so you don't have to hide from everyone." Quinn gave her a warm smile and said, "It's something friends do."
Some dialog from Fat Like Me by Peggy Nicoll and Camp Fear by Jonathan Greenberg
More on Barbara and Earl can be found in Kristen Bealer's story, Country Wisdom
Thanks to Kristen Bealer, Ipswichfan and Mr. Orange for beta reading.